February. Fun or Funk?

Hi Everyone!

How is your February going?  At the moment ours has been fairly mild weatherwise.  Usually February here is our coldest month and longest and dreariest. For a 28 day month it always seems to me it is at least 60 days long.  I’m writing this on February 2nd so we will see how I’m doing by the 28th.

I did work in a little fun this week when my BFFs invited me to join them on a ski trip.  Get this…yours truly went skiing in 10 degree temperatures (wind chills around -10)!  Yes indeedy.  Here we are.  Four layers on top, three layers on bottom, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, face mask, toboggan and goggles made this a fairly comfortable endeavor. Fresh snow, great friends and no lift lines made it awesome!

Do we look warm enough?
Do we look warm enough?

I have managed to cram a full schedule into the February.  I’m going to visit my daughter in Charleston, SC next week.  It would be lovely to have about 75 degrees while I’m there.  The next weekend I start Bee School and that will last five weekends.  Of course it is time to start on the dreaded taxes. Yuck.  I am working on the bathroom remodeling and need to get new bee hives to put together and paint before bees arrive in April.  I have a list of sewing I want to do and last, but not least, I am working, working, working on new artwork.  Hopefully all this will get me through winter without going into my usual funk.

Many of you who read this blog are creative people with blogs of your own, artwork, writing, etc.  I would love to have your help and advice as I throw myself into my artwork and try to get it out into the world.

I am in the process of writing an Artist Statement.  When I read these at show openings I often find them dry and academic.  In other words…boring.  I suspect that is because they are just darn hard to write.  How do you write about yourself without sounding either conceited or weird?  I would like mine to explain why I create stuff and what it’s about without being boring, conceited or weird.  The challenge at the moment is just to figure out why I create stuff and what it’s about!  I am open to suggestions and would love to read yours or someone’s you think did a good job with theirs.

Do you sell work online?  If so, pointers on Titles, Descriptions and Tags would also be appreciated.  Creating art is not nearly as hard as writing all these things.  I am currently on Etsy, Fine Art America and now Red Bubble and Art Pal (still working on this one in case you don’t find much).  If you want to take the time to check these out and send me a critique, I will be happy to listen.

I am not sure what to do with my Etsy shop.  In my attempts to minimalize my life and stuff I am finding that keeping inventory is a royal pain, not to mention shipping.  The print-on-demand stores are very convenient and after the time involved in shipping, probably gives about the same return on investment.  Oh well, it’s there with stuff in it for the moment and I will ponder the future of it as I go along.

Please join in the conversation.  I have been writing this blog for a few years now and it’s lonely out here.  It is time that I heard from more of you.

Stay warm and in case I don’t get a Valentine’s Day post on here, give someone special a hug and/or kiss.  You don’t have to wait until the 14th.  Go ahead. Do it now!

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She tells it like it is.

Since our last visit we had a major snowstorm. Well, major for my part of the world anyway. Five to six inches.  Everything came to a halt and it gave me enough time to read a book that I have had on hold for months with our digital library. Big Magic

If you haven’t heard of Elizabeth Gilbert, she wrote Eat, Pray, Love, and it was on the Best Seller list for ages.  That was my introduction to her and I have read the book twice.  The first time I read it I was smack dab in the middle of a divorce and single parenthood and still working with my ex in our business.  Life was not particularly good and I found an escape with Eat, Pray, Love.  I was not in a place where I could up and travel the world to recover from a bad life situation, but I darn sure wanted to! I read EPL again a few years later when the dust had settled and still loved the book.  I think it is Elizabeth’s honesty that I relish and found the same honesty in Big Magic.

You can also see Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talks on YouTube as well as an interview on Marie Forleo’s, Marie TV, YouTube station. Oh, and as a side note…I do not have any affilates with Amazon or anyone else for that matter. Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

If you need/want some honest advice about what it takes to live a “creative life” read Big Magic.  Ms. Gilbert has the street cred to give it. She doesn’t tell you to quit the day job and live your passion.  Instead she tells you to wait tables or make coffee. Not what most people want to hear. She also has a charming name for the not so great stuff that comes with life and how to decide just how badly you want to follow your dream. It is a short read, but packed with practical, down-to-earth advice.

One side note from personal experience…don’t go into a creative day job thinking it will be helpful in your creative after hours pursuits or close enough to your dream job to be fulfilling.  From someone who has done and is still doing it, eight hours of being creative for someone else doesn’t leave much left after dinner is cooked and the kids are in bed.  Some folks are made of hardier stuff than I am and can pull it out after all that, but I am pretty much at the zombie stage by 7 pm.  Wait tables or make coffee if painting, music, writing, etc. is coursing through your veins.

“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures

that are hidden within you?”

After my major downsizing purge a few years ago and having hauled nine boxes full of books to donate to our library, I am very particular about what hard copy books come to live with me.  I try them out first from the digital library.  Big Magic was worth the wait and is now sitting on my wish list on Amazon. It will reside beside EPL in my office and I foresee frequent return visits when not-so-creative frustration sets in.

My plan was to give you an update on what I have been doing lately, but I got a little carried away here and suspect you are ready to move on to other things in your day. Remember hand dyeing, kitchen cabinets and invitations for next time.

Have a lovely week!